Why does vacation go by so fast? How to enjoy every second!

why-does-vacation-go-by-so-fast

Have you ever heard of the saying “time flies when you’re having fun”? Basically, it means that you’re having so much fun that your brain can’t keep track of time; thus time appears to be moving much faster than it actually is.

We have all experienced it: a vacation that seems to fly by at the time but seems to last forever in retrospect. According to scientists, it all has to do with how the quantity of memories we form influences our time experience. 

The hours pass by while we’re doing something new. But every one of our experiences leaves us with a slew of memories – so many, in fact, that it feels like we’ve been gone for an eternity.

Reasons Why Your Vacations Go by so Fast

The big question is – how can you enjoy every second of your vacation? The answer to this question might be more straightforward than you think! The first step is to understand why vacations go by so fast in the first place.

Your Perception of Time

While we’re trying something new, the hours fly past. However, all of our experiences leave us with many memories, and looking back on them makes us feel like we’ve been gone for a long time.

We create fewer memories as we go about our daily lives. Days look to drag on… but they fly by in retrospect. Claudia Hammond, a psychology lecturer, refers to the occurrence as the vacation paradox.

She explains that our lives are usually so mundane that just six to nine encounters every two weeks are worth remembering.

We remember six to nine items from each day while on vacation. It’s something we’ve all experienced: a vacation that seems to fly by at the moment but seems to last forever in retrospect.

According to scientists, it all has to do with our perspective of time and its influence on the number of memories we form.

The Built-up Emotional Anticipation Before the Vacation

Before leaving for your vacation, you may find yourself slowly building up anticipation for it because you are looking for a break from either your routine or work routine.

This anticipation build-up will paint a picture in your mind of how the vacation should be and one of the reasons why you tend to over plan a vacation. Because of this, your vacation will seem to go by quickly.

Psychological Pressure

Vacation expectations might also contribute to the vacation’s perceived shortness. Vacations are typically held to ridiculous standards; they must be pleasant, wonderful, and vastly different from your daily lives.

When you focus your anticipation on a few days, those days will pass quickly. If you’re always rushing from one exciting vacation activity to the next, determined to make it The Best Vacation Ever, the time will seem to fly by.

List of Things on How to Enjoy Every Second

Holidays are a good time to travel and relax, but good times do not last long. No wonder most people are struggling to understand this phenomenon.

But because we understand and feel your pain, we have taken the time to put together a list of things you could do to help you enjoy your vacation much better;

Let Your Mind Rest and Relax

The key to relaxing and unwinding is to leave any arguments, unnecessary anxieties, or annoyances at home.

Recognize that travelling can be stressful, and agree with your travel companion, if any, that minor hiccups or miscommunications will be tolerated.

When confronted with a disagreement, evaluate whether having fun on vacation is more important than being right.

This is the time to empty your mind and live in the present moment. Consider getting a massage if you are having difficulty relaxing your mind.

Some people suffer from anxiety when embarking on new destinations and new adventures, most people.

Not knowing what and who awaits them fills them with worry. Do not be; most vacations turn out great, and you have your instincts to depend on. They never go wrong.

Disable Notifications From Work if Possible

If possible, you should try to disable notifications from work. If you take calls because your boss forces you to, it will be a source of animosity.

However, if you work for yourself or have other freedom in your schedule and want to work for half an hour before the rest of your family wakes up, there is nothing wrong with it. Just get it done, and then avoid your inbox till the following day.

Vacations are also remarkable for thinking about big-picture career issues. Consider what topics you could be interested in tackling in the future and return home with ideas to put into action.

Do not Over Schedule

If you’re visiting Paris, you might want to view the Eiffel Tower. There’s also the Chateau de Versaille. Then there is the Champs Elysees. Perhaps the Louvre Museum as well? Who knows what will occur.

The problem is that we tend to want to see everything listed as a “must-see” tourist attraction in each destination we offer. However, merely being in a different city and eating different local food is fascinating and one-of-a-kind in and of itself.

Don’t fall into the trap of seeing all of the tourist attractions. Make a list of what YOU want to accomplish with your vacation time to make the most of it.

Make time to unplug

A vacation is one of the few times when you can ignore your phone calls, notifications, and overflowing inbox and get away with it, so take full use of it!

Disable push notifications, deactivate work-related applications temporarily, and go to dinner without your phone – whatever it takes to unplug from the stresses of work and home life completely.

Taking a break from being continuously attached to a device can only make your vacation that much more enjoyable.

Take a lot of pictures, but first, take it all in.

While taking photos may appear to be the ideal way to retain memories of a vacation, research indicates that the process of taking photos can damage recall.

To counteract this impact, try experiencing something with all of your senses before reaching for your camera—or conduct an activity again, once without a camera and then with an eye for nice photographs.

Some situations necessitate responding quickly and seizing a moment before it vanishes, but if we treat every moment in this manner, we may wind up missing out.

Make a plan for how you intend to use technology

Set yourself up to be as present as possible on your vacation to get the most out of your time away from normal life.

You should ideally leave your iPhone and laptop at home, along with all of your other worries; otherwise, you won’t reap the benefits of feeling like you took a break.

However, for some careers, quitting work for a week is not an option. If circumstances prevent you from completely escaping your job, make a strategy and share it with your travel companions.

Will you, for example, work during specific hours while you are not in the office? How frequently do you check your email and phone?

Take pleasure in the journey.

The perspective of time is distorted while you are rushing around. Take it easy. Take the time to converse with your driver, host, or concierge, establishing a connection when you exit the airport or train station.

Almost one in every four vacationers prefers a welcoming host, so start the conversation by asking for recommendations on things to see or do.

Go with the flow

We’ve all got a story of a vacation that didn’t go quite as planned. Perhaps you were on your way to Italy, but your suitcase wound up in Idaho. Maybe you spent the entire once-in-a-lifetime vacation in the hotel toilet, curled up in the fetal position, suffering from a horrible case of food illness.

It’s safe to say that something will go wrong when you’re travelling. While you cannot prevent unexpected events from occurring, you can choose how you respond to them.

Those mishaps and incorrect turns, more often than not, provide an opportunity to connect with the location you’re visiting on a more authentic level.

If you find yourself in the middle of a ludicrous travel situation while on vacation, take a deep breath and convince yourself that everything will be fine — and then try to imagine how funny it will be when it’s all over.

Maintain a healthy level of expectation for your vacation.

It’s natural to be thrilled about your vacation, but if you go in with inflexible or unrealistic expectations, you’ll constantly be disappointed – no matter what happens or doesn’t happen.

Will the hotel room be smaller than it is shown on the website? Probably. Will that Instagram-worthy vista appear less spectacular with dozens of other people crammed around you, all striving for the same shot? Definitely.

Rather than worrying about minor details, concentrate on what you want to accomplish while on vacation, whether it’s an adventure, connection, or simply absolute relaxation. These are the types of vacation objectives that will not be ruined if preparations go awry.

Book Or Reserve Accommodations In Advance

Some vacation destinations have high traffic at certain times of the year.

If you choose such a place, then it will be prudent to place calls and make reservations beforehand so that you do not get there and find that the place is jammed and you now have to find an alternative place to settle in during the vacation.

Many people have reported that these “alternative” hotels or resorts fell short of their expectations and their vacation was below average.

This is aside from the fact that you have lost valuable time driving around looking for alternative destinations.

But this plan is viable for short vacations, which are mostly under two weeks. If your period exceeds that, you might want to book accommodations lasting a few days because you might get to discover even better places that you would love to experience.

This way, you stay open to possibilities, and it saves you the hassle of having to cancel reservations and so forth.

Planning On The Activities To Indulge In

We assume that you choose the location for your vacation because you are interested in the activities they offer and extra places to visit aside from the outcome of the atmosphere.

When on location, it is so easy to waste time (even if it is an hour) deciding where to go for the day, and because there could be a number of you in the group, others would prefer to go this way while others would want to do something different.

To avoid indecisiveness, it’s better to draw out a plan that is inclusive of everyone before the journey begins to ensure that everybody is on the same page and in agreement.

Bottom Line

Your vacation is your chance to relax and recuperate properly — and if you don’t commit to that, your time off could be entirely unproductive.

There may be no way to prevent flight delays, travel difficulties, or those annoying emails from your boss, but following the guidelines described above can help ensure you have a relaxing vacation.